• Kyodo

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Rikako Ikee will contest four events at next month’s national championships as she continues her comeback from leukemia, her management company said Wednesday.

The 20-year-old, who was diagnosed with leukemia in February 2019, will swim the women’s 50-meter and 100 freestyle, the 100 butterfly, and the non-Olympic 50 butterfly at the April 3-10 meet, which doubles as the Tokyo Games qualifiers, at the Tokyo Aquatics Center.

Ikee, who has played down her chances of competing at the games, which are scheduled to open on July 23, will be eligible for Olympic qualification if she meets the entry standard time and finishes in the top two in the finals of any Olympic event.

The MVP of the 2018 Asian Games has repeatedly said she is not aiming to compete at the postponed Tokyo Olympics this summer, however.

In a statement, Ikee said her goal for the nationals was to reach the finals in each of her events.

“The results of this meet will depend on how much confidence I can build in everyday practice, so I want to train hard for it,” she said.

Ikee said she would enter the championships following her first race win since coming back, in the women’s 50-meter butterfly at last month’s Tokyo Open.

Ikee, who swam in her first race in about 19 months last August, became eligible for the national championships after clocking qualifying times for each of her events in competition.

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